Arsene Wenger has leaped to the defence of David Ospina after the goalkeeper scored an own goal in last night’s Champions League defeat to Olympiakos after a mistake from a corner kick. Arsenal went on to lose 3-2 and sit in last place in group F.
As it stands, Arsenal are in danger of failing to qualify for the group stage, but Wenger has refused to place the blame on the Colombian’s shoulders. The boss has defended his decision to start Ospina over summer signing Cech, saying the former is a top goalkeeper still and that mistakes are part of the game.
“I make the decisions and the selections for the team and am responsible for it,” Wenger told Arsenal.com “And I know many things that maybe you do not know and that you ignore.”
“You cannot select a team by making a poll before the game and get everybody’s opinion. Ospina played 19 games last year, kept 14 clean sheets, last week at Tottenham he had a fantastic game. No ‘keeper is mistake free. It could have happened to Cech as well, that’s part of it.”
“I don’t give you why, I do not have to sit here and give you any explanation about every decision I make. You are capable to judge what I do and I leave you to that.”
Wenger maintained that Cech had a slight injury concern, and that the result of the game was linked more to misfortune on the day than a selection error.
“He [Cech] had a slight alert before the game at Leicester, I didn’t want to take a gamble, but it’s not because of that that we lost the game. It’s a farce.”
We lacked a bit of concentration,” he said. “We played against an Olympiakos side who defended really well, but there was a bit of bad luck as well because they had four shots on target and they scored three goals, and that happens once out of 100 games in the Champions League.”
Good on the boss to defend his player, and I would tend to agree with his sentiments. Ospina made a bad mistake, granted, but he is not solely to blame for the defeat and nor were the other players who were rotated.
Cech would have had difficulty dealing with the first and third goals as well, which Arsenal should have defended better, so blaming just Ospina is a bit harsh for me.
It does no good worrying about it now, Arsenal must move on quickly as United come to town in three days time. A response is a must.